Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I Went to HeroesCon 2014 and Forgot to Take Good Photos.

As expected, HeroesCon 2014 was a lot of fun. I saw some old friends, I made some new ones, ate a bunch of food, slept terribly, drew a lot, bought some comics, and I left wanting to work a bunch of new projects. 

On Friday Rich Tommaso, Joey Weiser, Scott Dryman and I left Athens at 7:30AM and got to the show right at noon. We set up our tables and for a Friday, it was pretty busy. Some of the people I had done advance commissions for came by and picked up their drawings. With the show over at 7:00, we ate dinner, came back to the hotel, relaxed, and then I went to the Drink & Draw a block over. This event, hosted by HeroesCon and Team Cul de Sac, is a fundraiser for Parkinson's research. Richard Thompson, the creator of the comic strip Cul de Sac, was diagnosed with Parkinson's awhile back, so Friday night a mess of cartoonists knock out drawings in a hotel bar and auction them off. I drew about seven of them before midnight, when Robert Newsome came in, having driven all the way from Atlanta after a week in Las Vegas on a business trip. He said he'd never been happier to step off a plane. 

First off, I have to admit that I was lousy at taking photos this time around. I took photos of the sketches I did at the show, but forgot to take pictures of actual people. I took three. Pathetic, right? Here are some of the sketches I did throughout the weekend. 

This large Fantastic Four drawing was done for Sunday's silent auction. I pencilled it Friday night in the hotel room and inked it Saturday afternoon behind my table in Indie Island.  

This is the second large drawing I did for Sunday's silent auction. It took a little more than half and hour and a bunch of red watercolors.

This is Rich Tommaso of Recoil Comics. He had a bunch of his crime/horror/suspense comics for sale at the show, including the debut of my horror/crime comic Cold Crew he published under his Recoil imprint. The Recoil Books sold pretty well at the show, so I'm glad he didn't think he threw a bunch of money away publishing my comic!

Sam Spina at the very end of the show. Seriously, he looked a lot chipper throughout the weekend, but this photo was taken right as everyone was packing up Sunday evening. 

Robert Newsome is taking a photo of me taking a photo of him. 

As busy as I was, I didn't venture far from my table very often. I did pick these two Atlas Era Marvel Masterworks up for $15 each. The Menace volume is full of pre-code horror comics with Russ Heath, Joe Maneely, and Bill Everett artwork. The Venus book is a fantasy/romance comic that reads like a Jamie Hernandez comic, complete with insane magazine editors, bearded peeping-tom gods, and horned demons being arrested. 

On the left is some artwork I traded with Shannon Smith for. On the right is the best dollar spent that weekend; a 1937 weather almanac. 
Dan Rhett made a comic masterpiece called Irvingtome. I flipped though it at the show and I cannot wait to read it. Also, he made a card game to go along with it!

Comics by Ryan H. (two at the top), Ashely Raburn & Nathan Simmons (bottom left), and fellow UGA graphic design major Scott Sosebee.

Lil' Sonja, autographed by Joel Carroll (my daughter loves this comic), and Sam Spina's The Frantastic Four.

Two wonderful untitled autobio comics: Miz K's comic (she came all the way from Switerland!) and Josh Bowron's.

I traded a drawing for one of Wes Brooks's t-shirts. This is my new favorite item of clothing.

The other best dollar I spent that weekend; a collection of Arnold Roth's sports comics. 
Like a schmuck, I looked over what I'd posted and realized I was missing some comics I had packed away in a box at the beginning of the show; Shannon Smith's five new mini-comics überbällöön, AND Hula-Hoop Girl, a feature-length comic by his daughter Kassidy.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

HeroesCon 2014!

HeroesCon starts Friday! Me and a carload of Athens and Atlanta folks will be coming up to Charlotte, NC to sell comics, artwork, and socialize with people we maybe see only once a year. Sure I like going to browse around the bins of beat-up 60's comics, cheap art books, sell comics and sketches, but mostly I enjoy meeting people and bouncing around from bar to hotel rooms talking with other cartoonists in the evenings. 

I will be driving up with Rich Tommaso, Joey Weiser, and Scott Dryman. FLUKE coordinator and the man behind wrestling's greatest zine The Atomic Elbow, Robert Newsome, will be driving into town late Friday night. Rich Tommaso will have his line of Recoil comics for sale, including Dry County #2 and my own comic, Cold Crew, both making their debut at the show. Joey Weiser will have his Mermin books available, with original art and commissions too. Newsome will not only have copies of The Atomic Elbow, but the two of us will be selling FLUKE t-shirts and FLUKE comic anthologies. 
I will have issues of Big Deal Comics & Stories #11, 12, 13 and 14 available. If you like ghost stories, romance, heartbreak, and anxiety, then these are the comics for you. 

Cold Crew will be making its debut at the show. This is a copy from an early test run. The final run will be slightly bigger, I think. It's a crime/horror comic rolled into one mean lil' story. 

There will also be a stack of original art for sale, mostly of black & white ink drawings of various monsters for ten bucks. In addition to these, I will be open to commissions through the weekend. For ten bucks, I will do a sketch of a character with one spot color, either in your sketchbook or a separate sheet of paper. I will be packing up a pint of india ink, brushes and pen nibs to ensure that whatever I draw looks good. I charge $10.00, but really I'm putting $12.00 of effort into it. If I'm feeling wild, then maybe it will be more like $14.75 of work. By Sunday and I have a lot of time on my hands, you might even get a $18.23 drawing for the bargain of $10.00 In any case, I hope you'll be happy.

See you this weekend. 

Friday, May 9, 2014


Hey, I'm taking pre-show art commissions!

I'm going to have a spot in Indie Island at HeroesCon 2014! Last year I did a few advance art commissions, where people would email me what they want, I'd draw it, and have it ready for them at HeroesCon.

If you're attending the show and want me to draw something for you, email me what you'd like and for $10 I will have your artwork ready at HeroesCon, first thing Friday morning. You can pay me at the show.

If you'd like to request an art commission and won't be at HeroesCon, then I can do that too! For a few extra bucks, I will figure out shipping & handling and mail it to you, packaged safe n' sound so it doesn't arrived dinged up.

$10 for 7 x 10" black & white with one spot color. Or maybe you'd prefer classic black and white.

One character, minimal background. Send your request here

May 27th Update: Here's some recent commissions I've finished.

Friday, April 25, 2014

What do I do?

I’m at a crossroads right now; there are four comics I need to draw and I’m not sure which one to tackle. One is a short nightmare influenced comic I have written, the second is a comic about people using their diet to control their dreams, where two meet and fall in love, the third is a very vague sequel to the upcoming Cold Crew comic that Recoil is publishing, and the last is Eddie’s Week. That is my giant comic I’ve been fooling around with for years. I have the first 30 pages done, a few more penciled, and the next 80 thumbnailed. The rest is written out, but I read it, lose faith in it, and shelve it. Other times I look at it and figure it’s worth finishing. It’s hard to tell anymore. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

FIVE TIMES is printed.

I will have copies of "Five Times" (Big Deal Comics & Stories #14) for sale at FLUKE this Saturday. The title is hand-lettered and the pen is spot colored. No two are alike. For you completists with severe OCD, I'd suggest buying every copy I have.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My Writing Process.

I've been tagged to contribute to a project called the My Writing Process Blog Tour. I was invited by Eleanor Davis, who is one of the many talented cartoonists who reside in Athens, Georgia. 

1)     What am I working on? 

I'm currently trying to make sense of an idea that I've had for awhile about people trying to control their dreams through diet. For awhile I had been wanting to write about my personal experiences with trying to control dreams, so I'm going to add these elements in with a love story. A few of my past couple of comic stories have been love stories to some degree. The page count is nowhere near enough to be a book-length graphic novel, unless I really pad it  (I won't), so it might be a standalone 30-40 page issue of my self published "Big Deal Comics & Stories".

2)     How does my work differ from others of its genre?  

My hopes are that for the people who will read the finished product, they will figure it differs from other love story/dream comics. I'm terrified of it being derivative. 

3)     Why do I write what I do? 

There's not really much new under the sun, so I'm not entirely convinced I'm filling some kind of comics void, but I do gravitate towards projects that I'd want to see exist. I like crime comics, ghost stories, romance, surrealism, humor, and sometimes all of those under one roof. 

4)     How does your writing process work?

The first step is almost always a fairly incoherent out-of-context paragraph I jot down with a skeleton of an idea. From there I write an outline of the events, which is usually just as incoherent as the initial idea. From there I start to write the dialogue and link everything together until it makes sense. Most of the time an ending isn't settled on until several drafts have been discarded.

I read over the dialogue and weed out whatever sounds phony. If it's not clunky sounding exposition awkwardly explaining something, then it's having everyone written to be a witty comedian. Once I get into a rut of having people go back and forth with snappy dialogue, I have to pull back and make sure that everyone's not a sharp-tongued bard. Some characters are allowed to be short on words and comebacks. Not everyone has to be funny or have identical senses of humor. 

The hardest part in the wringing process is admitting when I've written a bunch of garbage. I've learned to not be afraid to kill and idea if it's a bad one. Many half-baked ideas that I've expounded on and built up with characters and locations and plots, only to set it aside for awhile. When I've gone back to read it over, I've realized the story is gibberish. There are some ideas worth salvaging, but others are best buried. And other times it's best to ignore it for a long time. Maybe in a few years it will make sense, maybe it won't. 

If it's really a good idea, then there will be that magical moment where everything clicks and I can see that finishing the comic is for the best. There can be multiple drafts and variations on an idea, but only one will stand out and make me not regret starting on the final comic. The comic is never really finished until it's been scanned it and set out in some layout program, ready to take to the printer. Until then, I try not to nitpick every detail. If I do, then I butcher it to pieces and regret with not sticking with an earlier draft. 

AND NOW: I will tag the following people. 

Kelly FrohKelly Froh is a comic artist and co-organizer of Short Run comix & arts festival in Seattle, now in its 4th year. She has self-published over 40 mini-comics and zines including “Stew Brew”, a series in collaboration with her partner Max Clotfelter, which was nominated for an 2009 Ignatz Award for “Outstanding Mini-Comic” and mentioned as one of “The Best Comics of 2008” in The Comics Journal. Find her and

Chris Schweizer- Chris Schweizer was born in 1980, grew up in Louisiana and Kentucky, and went to college at Murray State University.  He majored in art, then theater, then history, then English, then ended up back with art, earning a BFA in graphic design. The first book in the Crogan Adventures series, Crogan’s Vengeance, came out in 2008.  Chris made the book while he was in graduate school, studying Sequential Art (that’s the academic name for comics) at SCAD-Atlanta, the metropolitan branch of the Savannah College of Art and Design.  It was nominated for an Eisner award.  He received another Eisner nomination a few years later for Crogan's Loyalty. He received his MFA in 2008, and began teaching at SCAD-Atlanta shortly afterwards as an instructor in the Sequential Art and Animation departments.  After five years of teaching, he decided that he would stop after the school year ended in 2013 in order to devote all of his attention to storytelling (and, of course, his family).  He lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife Liz and daughter Penelope. 
He divides his time between the Crogan Adventures and the Creeps, a middle-reader horror/mystery series coming from Abrams Amulet in fall of 2015. Visit him at

Rich TommasoRich Tommaso has been writing and illustrating original comics and graphic novels for 17 years. His graphic novel with writer James Sturm, Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow, was praised in The New York Times and in 2008 won him an Eisner award for Best Reality-Based Work. He lives in Atlanta with his girlfriend Amy and their two cats, Maggie and Hopey. He's currently self publishing his own line of crime and suspense comics under his Recoil imprint. Visit him at